It seems to be received wisdom that bedrooms should be in pale, soft colours to induce the feelings of calm required for a good night’s sleep, so it’s perhaps a brave or unconventional person that decorates a bedroom in black, or very dark shades. Black’s association with death doesn’t help its case, but since the days of cave-dwelling, retreating to the darkest corner actually makes perfect sense.

Amazingly I recently came across 2 such bedrooms in the space of a week. The first designed by Stephen Ryan, had walls lined in black felt, giving the room a wonderful feeling of comfort and luxury, and also beautifully setting off a collection of monochrome framed prints.

The second, was the home of Michael Nicholas, and the deep backdrop was brought to life with beautiful gilt framed paintings and black and gold lamps.